Massachusetts is a fantastic place to live and visit. From picturesque Cape Cod beaches to the iconic Boston skyline and west to the beautiful mountains of the Berkshires, Massachusetts truly has something for everyone.

While Massachusetts is one of the most populated states in the U.S. it also sees a significant amount of tourists and visitors annually. According to, Massachusetts sees around 26.2 million domestic visitors, and 2.4 million international visitors annually.

Given the number of visitors that flock to Massachusetts annually, tourism is an extremely viable industry, and perhaps no place is more visited in Massachusetts than Cape Cod.

Cape Cod incorporates all of Barnstable County, which is comprised of 15 towns, plus the islands of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Elizabeth Islands. With almost 600 miles of shoreline, the Cape is one of the most popular beach destinations in New England.

Cape Cod was recently in the news, not for its tourism, but for a wild discovery off the coast of Nantucket.

A whale was recently spotted off the coast of the Cape Islands, which is a somewhat normal occurrence, but this whale was anything but normal.

According to the New England Aquarium, on Friday, March 1, an aerial surveillance team spotted the whale in the Atlantic that has been EXTINCT for more than 200 years.

Orla O'Brien, a research scientist at the aquarium who has been performing aerial surveys for over a decade said she was shocked, to say the least.

I didn’t want to say out loud what it was, because it seemed crazy...My brain was trying to process what I was seeing because this animal was something that should not really exist in these waters,” said research technician Kate Laemmle, who was also in the plane. “We were laughing because of how wild and exciting this was—to see an animal that disappeared from the Atlantic hundreds of years ago!

Orla O'Brien, New England Aquarium Researcher

Gary Whales disappeared from the Atlantic Ocean in the 1700s, but in the past 15 years, there have been a total of five spottings in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans, including one off the coast of Florida in late 2023. Experts at the aquarium believe the gray whale seen off Nantucket is the same whale sighted in Florida.

Scientists say climate change may explain the first spottings in over 200 years. The Northwest Passage, which the whale is believed to have passed through, has partly been free of ice in the summertime in recent years due to rising global temperatures, allowing gray whales to potentially travel through it something that couldn't have been possible in the past two centuries.

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Stacker compiled a list of the biggest 1-day snowfalls in Massachusetts using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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